More Weird Windows


My addiction to strange and wonderful windows reaches levels of derangement in Spain and Italy, where a total lack of chain stores and the lunacy of Catholic private shop owners collide to create surreal window-shopping moments.

Your guide to the latest weird windows (forgive the blurriness of shots in low light):

1. For all your urgent boxing gloves/ crucifix/ soda siphon needs (plus phone with jumbo dial on right).

2. It’s summer, and to remind you, your local bakery has laid out all the rolls so that they’re sunbathing on a breadcrumb beach watched over by burly sesame seed lifeguards (pity I couldn’t get the whole scene in with the donut swimming rings).

3. Automata! At the twist of a key the monkey plays the harp, the crib rocks and the baby sits up and cries.

4. What is this game? Posh fuzball? The goalkeepers appear to be golden women on stilts. There are three separate playing arenas and the whole thing is built into an inlaid polished wood table. Anyone know what it is?

12 comments on “More Weird Windows”

  1. Laurel says:

    Enjoying the heatwave?

  2. admin says:

    yes thank you, although I’m stuck inside air-con rooms.

  3. Dan Terrell says:

    Looks like a Disk World Cat’s Cradle board stolen from Lord Vitenari’s treasury. Please print off a copy and ask around and then get back to us.
    This past July was the hottest July on record in the US since the Federal government started keeping records in 1885/6 (about then). One of the driest, too. You should have visited the States.
    While our tomatos, beans, cucumbers, squash and hot peppers got most of the water the back lawn not so much. I have my work cut out this fall.

  4. Dan Terrell says:

    That’s DiscWorld, of course. May Sir Terry forgive me.

  5. snowy says:

    At first blush some sort of Table Croquet? There are six hoops and three pegs. Or perhaps a Bagatelle game of some sort?

    Nice Espadrilles! (I’m quite envious)

  6. J F Norris says:

    I expect to read of that automaton and the entire history of mechanical toys in the next Bryant and May book. What a creepy thing to have created!

  7. Vickie says:

    The bakery shot was fabulous (as was the commentary). You are quite adept at spotting/sharing delightful oddities…which lets me remain a contented armchair observer! Thank you!

  8. J F Norris says:

    I think perhaps the game inthe bottom photo is a form of an American game called Skittles. A top wound with a string is let loose spinning in the gameboard. It needs to travel through the hoops and knock down pegs that are placed on top of those white circles on the wooden surface. There is a smaller less challenging version of the same game called “Bull in a China Shop/Closet.”

  9. Dan Terrell says:

    By George, I think he’s got it. Never seen one exactly like it – no board partitions -, but it is definately a possibility.

  10. Steve says:

    Looks like a birthing game – the goalkeepers are squatting to deliver.

  11. snowy says:

    Following J F’s tip, it appears to be what is called an “English Skittles Table” a quick image search returns a similar 19C example.

  12. Helen Martin says:

    Further in that article was a photo of something almost identical to Admin’s photo above. It was apparently of French origin, reign of Charles X around 1850 and called a ‘table a toupi’. The author wasn’t sure whether it started in France or England. but a table of this sort, he thought, would have been owned by someone wealthy. Fascinating reading about skittles and so on.

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